Every year, for the past fifteen years, I have done at least one cleanse. Usually, it is a sixty-day event focused on cleansing, not only my liver and colon, but also my spirit. This helps me get back on track with my diet and reminds me of how great it feels to be functioning at an optimal level.
Over the years, I have coached patients, friends, and family through this process. Shout-out to the “Dirty Girls”: a great group of women (and one man) who faithfully participated in several years of my cleanse evolution. Quite frankly, while everyone realized positive and often profound effects, as most cleanses, the results were not sustained. Even if you love vegetables, processed food and sugar in some form always seems to find its way back to the forefront of our diets.
This is a common theme for cleanses, diets, exercises, and even supplements. If taken at face value, these programs can be a great kick-start to a lifestyle change. However, if your chosen method is not a match for your bio-individuality and current state of health, or there is not the appropriate follow-through or proper nutritional and metabolic support, the results can leave you worse off than where you started.
Cleanses and diets are all started with good intent. However, bad results can often include kidney damage, increased plaquing in your arteries, hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances, and even thyroid dysfunction. None of these are ideal. Throughout the years, I have researched, innovated, and bio-hacked to establish a system of best practices to avoid these complications.
This year, in an effort to continue innovating, I decided to take a different approach to my annual lifestyle course correction. Instead of embarking on my typical sixty-day journey, I made a few daily ritual changes that I can sustain. We all have our self-love pampering that we do on occasion to nurture, reward, or console ourselves. Instead of randomly doing health-supporting and promoting activities, I committed to consistency.
One of the things I have committed to is greater food awareness. Now, for those of you who know me, you know that I am food conscious. My advanced certification in Functional Medicine this past year gave me a fresh look at the power of food. I have found a renewed faith in food’s vital healing capacity. Food has incredible power to redirect your health trajectory, either positively or negatively. Your diet has a ripple effect on your health. Inarguably, what you eat matters.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to solving health challenges. I, like any good practitioner, focus on personalizing recommendations based on the individual, not the diagnosis. Each of us has unique health challenges, whether subtle or overt. The foundation for building health and expanding your healthspan lies in choosing foods that will nurture and support the body in its continual effort to heal. It is not complicated or difficult, but does require consistency.
I am sharing a recipe for my favorite green drink. This is something that is good for everyone and easy to incorporate into your morning routine. I swear your kids will even love it, if they can get past the green color. This not only tastes delicious, but is also full of phytonutrients, fiber, electrolytes, and minerals - all designed to shift you to a more alkaline pH, and support your buffering systems and cellular function.
Processed food, soda, red meat, and dairy are all acid spectrum foods. These foods require your body to amp up its buffering activity to maintain proper pH. This creates the perfect environmental conditions to support inflammation, cellular dysfunction, bone loss, and even cancer. Obviously, this is not the foundation that we want for optimizing health and healing.
This drink is one simple thing that you can have every day to support your health journey. It is self-love at its finest - nurturing you on the inside, so you are also vibrant on the outside.
A Vitamix works especially well for this drink, preserving all of the natural fiber from the fruit and vegetables.
Blend 3 cups of power greens with 1 cup of coconut water until smooth. I found this step is especially important for creating a nice, smooth texture for the drink.
- Juice of ½ lemon or lime
- ½ inch of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
- ½ inch of fresh turmeric root, peeled and diced
- ½ of a banana
- ½ apple, diced
- 1 stalk of celery, diced
Blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately, or double the batch and have another glass during that mid-afternoon energy slump. Juice will separate over time, so it might require a little shake.